Roman Amphorae: a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005 (updated 2014)

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Dr David Williams
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University of Southampton (2014) Roman Amphorae: a digital resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Late Roman Amphora 5

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Late Roman Amphora 5 Late Roman Amphora 5 Late Roman Amphora 5 Late Roman Amphora 5 Late Roman Amphora 5

Comments specific to this amphora type

A (north Palestinian) reduce-fired product is a rare fifth century AD import in Beirut but Late Roman 5 usually occurs in oxidised fabrics, from buff to orange in colour.
Palestinian grey fabric

Visual characteristics

This is very hard, fine and thin-walled, often with a reddish core in a reduced dark grey-black fabric. Common 0.5-2mm rounded red brown inclusions, common fine 2mm limestone inclusions. Lime eruptions/spalling often visible on the surface.


The grey fabric is similar in thin section to the orange fabric, with a clean clay matrix displaying a scatter of rounded or subrounded quartz grains and occasional limestone (Peacock & Williams, 1986: Class 46).
Palestinian orange fabric


Equivalent to: PAL AM of the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection (Tomber & Dore, 1998: 103)

Visual characteristics

North Palestinian examples are sandy, quartz and lime-rich fabrics. A finer, buff to pale yellow fabric, with common fine lime is typical for some late fifth to seventh century AD variants (Piéri Type 3: the size of the modules suggests that Abu Mena/northern Egypt is not the source (Piéri pers. comm.). Another common fabric is orange-red brown in colour and rich in iron oxide pellets, lime and quartz (another late fifth to seventh century AD Piéri Type 3 source: Judaea?). Some sixth century AD examples have a fabric very close to that of Gazan amphorae (Almagro 54) (for some illustrations of the range of Late Roman Amphora 5 and their fabrics, see Reynolds, 2005a).


Thin-sections of the orange fabric show abundant well-sorted sand inclusions, average size 0.25 mm, comprising well-rounded to subrounded quartz grains with a scatter of rounded biosparite limestone grains and occasional plagioclase feldspar (Peacock & Williams, 1986: Class 46).